I just got a link to a slightly strange article over on Clickz. It’s titled Consumers Less Satisfied With eBay and Amazon and goes into some depth explaining how big e-retailers are diluting their initially focused product offering and how this in turn is damaging their customer relationships:
"E-retail is undergoing a fundamental shift as some of the industry heavyweights move away from their core focus," said Larry Freed, chief executive of ForeSee Results, which commissioned the study. "Some of the best-known brands are changing business models and changing relationships with their customers. It's tough to do that without eroding satisfaction."
I guess this is pretty sound business thinking, but I have to say I think eBay’s popularity with customers is also waning because their support totally sucks.
Let me explain. You start your relationship with eBay on a high note and all goes well until some pre-teen troll gives you a negative rating, somebody doesn’t pay for that hair-dryer or you get hit by unwanted bidders and need to filter your bids to ensure your product gets to the right bidder.
Try doing any of the above with the standard eBay interface and you’ll quickly go mental. I would explain in detail, but Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi have already nailed it in this fantastic cartoon. I’ve not had first-hand experience of Amazon’s ‘help’ desk but I wouldn’t be surprised to find it uses the same “Cut and Paste Droids” who don’t read your question or try and respond…